A Mother's Journey Blog

Car Accident Statistics for ADHD Teenagers

Are you ready to freak out??? ADHD teenagers have 4 times as many traffic citations versus non-ADD/ADHD drivers. They have 4 times as many car accidents and if that isn’t enough to alarm ADD/ADHD parents they are 7 times more likely to have a second accident!!! Charlie turns 15 years old tomorrow. We are checking out of his last class for the day so he can go take his driver’s permit test. Last week he asked me when he passed his test if he could drive home on the highway. I told him I still wanted him to practice on the back roads a bit longer. His remark to me, “Mom, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out how to drive.” I just started screaming at him as if he just had a wreak. I was totally out of line but I couldn’t make myself stop. I get soooo worried just thinking of him driving and to hear him make comments like that shows me that he doesn’t even take driving seriously. I mean with that kind of attitude I can totally picture him messing around with the CD player, or trying to eat, or texting while he’s driving. Can you believe that he was crazy enough to say to me that “Other kids talk on the phone when they drive … you just need to chill out.” O good heavens we’ve got one year to get him focused, responsible, and help him tap into his common sense before he will be driving by himself.

One thing my husband has helped me understand with Charlie is that I have to stop doing everything for him because it’s easier or faster. For years because Charlie was sooo spacey and just didn’t care about anything, I would do all of the thinking for him. I made Charlie needy and lazy. My husband said to me about a year ago, “Let him make mistakes so he can learn from them. Quit telling him the right answers in life, instead you should help him figure it out for himself.” So I really took it to heart and I began to pull back from consistently hovering over him. We set boundaries/limits and most importantly we followed through with the consequences. When Charlie got angry about his discipline my husband would always make him explain to him how he could have avoided his punishment….always making him think. About a month ago, I was like, “Okay, Charlie’s about to turn 15 years old, we need to go get his material for his permit so he can start studying, we need to… and we need to….” My husband laughed and said, “We’re not getting nothing. If Charlie wants to drive he will make the effort to obtain and learn this material.” I said, “Chuck we are talking about Charlie here. He hasn’t even asked me to go get his pamphlet. He’s not taking this seriously and we have to make sure that Charlie is prepared! If we don’t make him study for his test he won’t pass it!” My husband said in a sharp tone, “Then he doesn’t pass it! I don’t care if he has to take that test 5 times before he gets his permit. If he wants this than he will have to prove to us that he is ready to drive.” Thank goodness my husband is the anchor here because last week Charlie finally got all of his studying material, took the alcohol and tobacco test on line, and has been studying all on his own. I sure do wish he wouldn’t have waited till the last week to prepare for his test but I guess it’s Charlie’s lesson to learn.

Enthusiastically yours,

Shirley Highers


When the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence, it may be that they are taking better care of it.


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